Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie




Aztec Reservior # 1 is almost full of cool Animas River water after many years of dusty disrepair.

Way back in February an astute TALON reader wrote in expressing concern about the high and dry condition of Aztec Reservior #1. Although the reservior did not rank in the top five on the Aztec Infrastructure Capitol Improvement Plan (ICIP) projects list, the current drought conditions called for immediate action.

Dredging and repair work began on May 25. CBKN Dirtworks out of Bernalillo was awarded the $224,000 contract and had a 60 day completion deadline. Working Monday through Thursday the seven man crew managed to complete the job in a month. Just in time for Stage Two Water Shortage Emergency conditions. "They really got after it," said Waste Water Treament Plant Chief Operator Andrew Galloway. "They did what they said they would do in a timely fashion, and they were really great to work with."

The repair did not include the installation of an HDPE liner like the ones used in Tiger Pond, Reservoir #2 and the fishing pond at Riverside Park. The decision to not install the liner was simply a situation of; getting what we need rather than what we want according to Galloway, "It's a clay bottom (on Reservior #1) and it's working really good for now, this repair will buy us a few years."

Repairs included dredging and removing a six foot thick layer of dried sediment from the reservior floor, repairing cracks in the clay floor and repairing the tower which acts as an intake from the reservior to the water treatment facility.

Located on the north side of Hwy. 173, Reservior #1 was originally built in 1950 to satisfy a thirsty town that had finally outgrown outhouses and the old well-water system. With a capacity of eight to ten acre feet of water or approximately 9 million gallons Reservior #1 is the smallest of Aztec's three reservior system. Tiger Pond is the centerpiece of the Aztec city water system with a capacity of 55.6 million gallons.

According to Galloway, the city's wintertime water consumption hovers around 400,000 to 600,000 gallons of water a day and sky-rockets to a whopping 1.7 to 2.2 million gallons a day in the summer.

According to Galloway with Reservior #1 back online Aztec has approximately 20-30 days of water in reserve. With Stage 2 water restrictions in effect Galloway says, "People have cut back on their usage, we don't know by how much yet, since we just started with restrictions, but people can see what is happening with the river...when you can walk across the Animas without getting your feet wet, they know it's time to conserve."


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